Last post on Jul 16, 2012 at 7:08 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Buick Lucerne, Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, Pontiac G8, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#353 of 6854 Re: um... [plekto]
Nov 23, 2006 (8:46 pm)
In my opinion, the 3.8 V6 in the Lucerne, for example, is out-dated and very inadequate for the class, V8, however, makes up for it, but suffers in other trade-offs.
Here is what Edmunds had to say about the Azera and the Lucerne:
This front-wheel-drive Hyundai is also plenty quick. Equipped with variable intake valve timing, the Azera's all-aluminum, DOHC, 3.8-liter V6 provides 263 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 255 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. This translates to more than enough thrust for passing and merging maneuvers, and the five-speed automatic transmission upshifts smoothly under full throttle. Downshifts are prompt, too, though there's slight hesitation if you jump on the accelerator abruptly in traffic.
Our test car posted a swift 7.2-second 0-60-mph time and a 15.5-second quarter-mile, right in line with the numbers we've gotten out of the Avalon, which has a 268-hp, 3.5-liter V6. Interestingly, the Azera is also a half-second quicker to 60 than a V8-equipped Buick Lucerne, which we tested the same day.
In addition, the Azera's brakes are excellent. Pedal feel is progressive during normal driving. Although effort levels increase markedly during full ABS stops and the car's front end droops, it's hard to argue with the results: 60 to zero in 118 feet.
http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpcontainers/do/vdp/articleId=109613/pageNumber=1?s- - ynpartner=edmunds&pageurl=www.edmunds.com/new/2007/hyundai/azera/100800758/roadt- - estarticle.html&articleId=109613
Nov 23, 2006 (11:03 pm)
You missed the entire point, though.
Any engine will post decent times if flogged to an inch of its redline, with high HP engines doing well.
But in and around town, you never have the combination of gearing and torque in most engines to actually make it useable.
263HP at 6000 rpm(redline) 255ft-lb at 4500rpm - that's useless in city driving as the gearing is going to be -= what? 50mph you shift into 3rd gear if you have the thing floored? And you must have it floored or the computer takes over at the *slightest* let-off on the pedal and upshifts.
In simple terms, let's use the GM 3.8L as an example, since I know this engine well - for over 20 years in fact. The output is lower in HP, but the RPMs it maxxes out in both are simmilar to the Hyundai.
1st gear - maximum 30mph.
2nd gear - maximum 50mph
3rd gear - maximum 90mph
4th gear - maximum 140+(in theory)
Light/driving around town pedal:
1st gear - shifts at 10mph
2nd gear - shifts at 25mph
3rd gear - shifts at 35mph
4th gear(overdrive) - drops into it at 40mph the second you let off the gas to about 1/4 throttle or less.
The maximum HP and torque at these speeds is only about 1/2 to 2/3 of maximum, ever. Now, you could punch it, but all that gets you is a downshift after a pause of about a second and then if you really want to use that power... oops, - you're going faster than city traffic will allow and still in 2nd gear. You let off even a milimeter and boom - it upshifts a gear or two instantly. Lug Lug Lug. Power all gone.
Oh - and the testers manually shift the automatics in the tests. Almost every single time to override this behavior in fact.
The problem is an engine design that has to rev like a 4 cylinder engine to get that power coupled with tall gearing to get good gas mileage. And so in city driving the thing is a total slug or a total rocket. It drives like an old Muscle-car with an on/off Jekyl and Hyde throttle personality. It makes reviewers happy and the MPG counters as well, but it drives like a toad. Only a manual transmission with you overriding the computer(s) will save you. Or shifting it manually if it lets you(some cars only have a "D")
But the GM VVT develops maximum torque at 2000rpm. That's about 1/4 throttle from idle or even overdrive. It does the opposite. You get full power the second you want it and then it lets off nicely.(V8 diesel flat)
Go drive one. I have. The Hyundai is "okay" in traffic but is slow to do roll-ons and transitions and getting going after you slow to take a corner and so on - like the GM 3.8, the Honda V6, and the Toyota V6. The CVVT and the V8 - roll in and roll right back out without a blip. Less gears, faster delivery of the power it has.
#355 of 6854 Re: Um... [plekto]
Nov 24, 2006 (4:32 am)
If you guys bought the or are considering buying the Azera for racing or fuel consumption, you are buying the wrong car.
#356 of 6854 Re: Um... [plekto]
Nov 25, 2006 (12:09 am)
Actually, the Lucerne with the 3.8 will stay in 2nd until almost 90 and in 3rd until it hits the electronically limited speed of 107. The digital readout will tell you when you are being limited. Pretty cool.
People who say this car with the 3.8 is underpowered do not know what they are talking about. If you drive it like an old lady then sure, it will be slow. But it has plenty of power when you get on it. I have even pulled a few trailers with it and it did just fine.
No one talks about the leveling rear air suspension. It is great to have a car that can be loaded and NOT ride on the rubber shock bumpers, bumping down the road like most loaded cars do.
What about the GM Oil Life system, that when actually used in accordance with the instructions from GM, only requires oil changes about every 10K miles? That is a huge money saver. Besides, the oil still looks new at 3K miles so the 3.8 must run really clean, hence the longer oil change intervals.
I have had 12 brand new cars including Honda, Mazda, Hyundai, and a lot of GM products and the Lucerne is my favorite by far. I have had mine for 10 months and I already have 35,000 miles on it. I drive a lot and I can appreciate a quality automobile. The Lucerne is it.
Nov 25, 2006 (2:02 am)
I know that the 3.8 has power - it's a very nice engine. But unless you mate it to a manual or shift the automatic manually - and then flog it - running in 2nd gear 80%+ of the time - it's a dated slug of an engine.
And then it's mated to one of the world's most pathetic preforming (though very reliable) transmissions.
The 3.6VVT is a much better engine for that 4-speed transmission that GM has been using for nearly 20 years.
IIRC, one of the Pontiac models has a manual gearbox and the 3.8/3.9 engine. And it's a blast to drive.
Nov 26, 2006 (6:02 am)
My 05 maxima behaves better than 2007 V6 Camry I test drove. You get lots of torque just above 3k rpm. I wish it was lower, but still better than Honda's V6 in accord where it simply doesn't move until 5K in RPM.
my second car 94 Buick Park Avenue Ultra is a perfect example of torque from an American car. Press Gas and a car moves you even a low 2k rpm. If not for its weight 3900 lb, it can beat even 05 maxima 3500 lb.
In my opinion 04+ maxima behaves like an American car, though on a diet.
#359 of 6854 06 Impala SS
Nov 26, 2006 (1:03 pm)
I've owned my Impala SS for 11 mos now and am obviously completely familiar with it's behavior. A lot of the off-track discussion got into low-end torque vs. high-end horsepower.
My sister owns an '06 Impala LT with the 3.9L V-6. While it's still a VERY powerful engine, it's still very noticeable as to how much difference there is in starting power between her car and mine. While I understand comparing her engine to mine is apples to oranges, the torque numbers don't know how many cylinders are used to create them nor does the rest of the car (mine is much heavier BTW) know. What I (and anyone else riding along) know is that the extra low-end torque makes driving around town much less "busy". It also makes a huge difference when you have well over 800 lbs of flesh in the seats and accelerate (uphill) onto a 70 mph interstate highway. My brother-in-law (who drives her car as much as she does) was amazed by the difference.
Again, I realize this is not a fair comparison but it does speak to the value of having lots of torque at your disposal. Those high rpm hp numbers look impressive on paper but they don't always translate to usable power on the road.
#360 of 6854 Re: ... [plekto]
Nov 26, 2006 (1:57 pm)
Because HP is basically top-end speed
MULARKEY - and I think you know it, HP is acceleration - The mathematical relationship is: HP=(torque x rpm)/5252. The important component of this formula to understand is 'RPM'.
Torque is a quantifable measurement of instanteous twisting force available at any given engine at any given engine speed and obviously is an important part of how a car drives. An electric motor, for example, has its maximum torque available at 0 RPM.
Referencing the formula above HP is torque applied over time. You can have all the torque in the world (let's say a diesel, or a pushrod engine, or a big V8) but if the engine doesn't rev quickly, HP must be limited and so is acceleration. It is HP/lb of vehicle wght. that will give you an accurate idea of how well a vehicle can accelerate - NOT ft/lbs per lb. I recently drove a ML320CDI diesel (200hp/400 ft lbs.) and even at 4500 lbs. I'll guarantee you that it is quicker off the line than my 3600lb 270hp/250 ft lb. Avalon - BUT, 0-60 or quarter mile not close - why because that OHC engine revs so much more freely and quickly and my HP/lb. is much better. And then you can go drive a example at the other extreme, the extremely quick S2000 with 240 HP and ONLY 160 ft lbs.torque all available well above 6000 rpm. By your contentions, that 2800lbs ought not be able to even move with that kind of limited torque, but wrong, once you hit about 6k rpm the thing becomes a rocket - peak HP doesn't hit until nearly 8000 rpm. At something about 12 lbs. per HP it should run in the 5s 0-60, which it can. A very demanding car to drive smoothly and quickly BTW, as it should be and an absolutely astonishing normally aspirated engine.
But you are right about ONE thing, that being that these new engines with VVT (or even better CVVT) do serve to widen out those torque curves in these OHC engines that, by definition will rev more quickly and produce more HP. It is about time that GM has figured out how to use some of this technology instead of foisting all these pushrod marvels on the unsuspecting American autobuyer. I can't believe that GM can 'sell' the 3.6 to Suzuki (in the Vitara), and then only put it in the the 'black circled' LaCrosse/CTS, leaving the 3.4, 3.5s, and 3.8s etc. throughout the rest of their products. Makes no sense!
Nov 26, 2006 (7:11 pm)
[b]The mathematical relationship is: HP=(torque x rpm)/5252. The important component of this formula to understand is 'RPM'.[/b]
You're missing what he's saying. And that is, many/most torque curves (torque vs rpm) aren't very flat. Ideally, you want a graph of HP vs rpm to be a straight (increasing) line, and not one that is concave up. The car just drives better that way.
Nov 26, 2006 (8:43 pm)
I was quoted $8,600 off of list price on the last 2006 Grand Marquis my local Lincoln/Mercury dealer had in stock. It's tempting, but my 2002 has literally never been to the mechanic for more than routine service. I've tried to get my wife to go for it, but she wants to spend more money to get some modern, stylish crackerbox car to carry our kids around.
I've owned two of them in a row - a 94, and then a 2002, and both of them at once because I liked the old one so much. I got rid of the 94 in 2005, not because there was anything wrong with it (well, valve stem seals let the engine burn some oil), but because the wife got tired of me owning two of them at once. Literally everything still worked properly on the vehicle, though I did do new front ball joints 118,000 miles, and I had put new coils, wires, and a starter in it before that point.
My mechanic loves it because he said it is one of the few "real" cars still being sold today. My 2002 at 60,000 miles is due for it's first front brake job, and first tranny fluid and filter replacement - still has the original tires. Also a great car for shadetree mechanics - easy to work on for those with lower mechanical skills.
The Grand Marquis has no street cred because they aren't flashy, and they don't change enough for journalists to write about. Ford hates them because they last too long, which is why they are trying to push you into a Montego - how much did Ford spend to design an inferior product? Sure, it looks better on paper, but come see me with it when it is ten years old and throwing CV joints, engine mounts, etc. - no thanks.
They are also great for rush hour traffic because people always let you over - probably because they think you are 80 years old and blind